Netflix and UN Women March 4 launched “Because She Watched” — a special Netflix collection of series, documentaries and films to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The collection, which will be available all year, is curated by female creators from behind and in front of the camera — including Sophia Loren, Janet Mock, Salma Hayek, Yalitza Aparicio, Millie Bobby Brown, Laurie Nunn, Lana Condor, Petra Costa and Ava DuVernay.
“This collaboration is about taking on the challenge of telling women’s stories and showing women in all their diversity,” said Anita Bhatia, UN Women deputy executive director, in a statement. “It’s about making visible the invisible, and proving that only by fully representing and including women on screen, behind-the-camera and in our narratives overall, society will truly flourish.”
Created for International Women’s Day, with the official theme this year of “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights,” the collection celebrates series, films and documentaries — from “Unbelievable” and “Followers” to “Orange Is the New Black,” Lionheart and “Sex Education” — that “have started important, often hard, conversations that have helped to challenge the way we see the world,” according to a Netflix release.
“Having a world where everyone is truly represented is about true democracy,” said actress Laverne Cox in a statement. “And truly seeing ourselves allows us to envision endless possibilities for ourselves and each other. ‘Orange Is the New Black’ is the first project where I felt genuinely empowered as a woman thanks to the woman at the helm of the show, Jenji Kohan, and the many women directors, writers, producers, and crew members as well as the stories that centered diverse women in an unprecedented way. This show created a space and platform for me as a black openly trans woman that created space for other openly trans women of all races to be truly seen in the depth of our humanity.”
The collection is available at Netflix.com/BecauseSheWatched. Every title in the collection will be labeled “XXXX’s Women’s Day Pick” so members can easily see who picked which story. In addition, members will be able to choose from a selection of “Because She Watched” profile icons to celebrate their favorite female characters from the collection.
“TV and film have the power to reflect and shape popular culture, which is why we believe it’s so important that more people see their lives reflected in storytelling.” said Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, in a statement. “Our research has shown that inclusion behind the camera leads to greater inclusion on screen. We’re encouraged that last year, 20% of the directors of Netflix original films were women and we are excited to celebrate these female creators on International Women’s Day. There’s still more to do to reach equality, but by recognizing female talent from around the world, we hope more women will feel encouraged to tell their stories, pushing that number even higher.”
UN Women and Netflix’s partnership in support of the Generation Equality campaign comes on the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, recognized as a visionary agenda for women’s rights. “We hope that it will spread the message that realizing women’s rights means putting women front and center to achieve gender equality,” the Netflix release read.